Preparing you and your pet for a natural disaster

Food and water. Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container and at least three days of water, just for your pets.

Medicines and medical records. Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.

First aid kit. Talk to your vet about what is most appropriate for your pet's emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution; pet first aid reference book.

Collar with ID tag, harness or leash. Your pet should always wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification. Pack a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Keep copies of your dog license, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container. You should also consider a permanent identification such as microchipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. Visit www.akccar.org to learn more about microchips.

Crate or other pet carrier. Be prepared to take your pets with you in an evacuation by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your pet. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.

Sanitation. Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and basic household chlorine bleach.

A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a photo will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex, color, distinguishing characteristics and microchip number.

Familiar items. Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit to help reduce stress for your pet.

Additional tips can be found on the American Kennel Club Web site at www.akc. org.